New Delhi/Mumbai: Close on the heels of the Bombay High Court order directing for a CBI probe into the conduct of NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and related matters in the 'extortion racket' case as alleged by former Mumbai top cop, the Maharashtra Home Minister has tendered his resignation on Monday.
In Delhi, BJP central leadership questioned the 'silence' of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the issue.
The silence "raises" questions, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
"There should be a thorough probe into who was sheltering and giving protection to whom," the Minister told a press conference at BJP Headquarters.
"This (Deshmukh's resignation) is a welcome step...It was a good decision by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. I say this because Pawar's words count in Maharashtra government," senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil told reporters here in Mumbai.
Patil, who is Maharashtra unit president of BJP, further said, there is more to it in the extortion racket scam in Maharashtra than what has come to light.
"The CBI will undertake its investigation and many things would come out, Pura desh ki rajniti hila degi (Findings will have its impact in national politics)," Patil said.
"I think Mr Uddhav Thackeray has forfeited the moral right to govern," the Union Minister said referring to Anil Deshmukh's letter of resignation wherein he said he was stepping aside on 'moral ground'.
"The BJP expects all the ramifications of this issue ought to be investigated," Prasad said adding there are questions as it must be made known that for whom Anil Deshmukh was asking for the money.
Another BJP leader Nitesh Rane, son of former CM Narayan Rane, also said - "There are many others involved in this"
"I am confident that days in come (many heads will roll)," he told a television channel.
The case and entire controversy relate to the death of Mansukh Hiren, the businessman whose vehicle laden with gelatin sticks was found outside the industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house.
In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh had alleged that Maharashtra Home Minister Deshmukh had set a target of Rs 100 crore of extortion money every month from commercial establishments in Mumbai.
Only recently, NCP head Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.had defended Deshmukh.
For his part, Deshmukh had threatened Parambir Singh with defamation cases.
The NIA had arrested Mumbai Police official Sachin Vaze in the Mansukh Hiren murder case.
The issue figured during the recent Parliament session in Lok Sabha. On March 22 during Zero Hour, expressing concern about extortion racket, Independent MP Navneet Rana had urged for a probe into the entire issue and wondered how suspended API Sachin Vaze for 16 years was 'reinstated'.
"On what basis was a man (Vaze) suspended for 16 years and jailed and then reinstated again...When there was BJP government, Uddhav Thackeray himself had called up Devendra Fadnavis (then CM) seeking reinstating of Sachin Vaze, Fadnavis had refused. When the Thackeray government came, they reinstated him. All these needs to be investigated properly,'' she had said.